Tommi Parzinger, ‘Chandelier, New York’, 1950s, Rago

Signature: Unmarked

About Tommi Parzinger

Born in Munich as the son of a famous sculptor, Tommi Parzinger would study a variety of arts and crafts, including graphic design, ceramics, glass, woodworking, and metalwork. Part of the large group of artists and designers—including Anni and Josef Albers, Mies van der Rohe, and Walter Gropius—who fled Germany at the onset of Nazi rule, Parzinger relocated to New York in 1932. Unlike many of his contemporaries, however, the designer unabashedly embraced tradition. “Modernism means freedom,” he said, “freedom to mix, choose, change, embrace the new, but to hold fast to what is good.” Parzinger is best known for his opulent, hand-hammered silverware, but he also applied his signature ornamentation to larger furniture designs like four-poster beds and mahogany dining tables, all of which continue to be sought after today. In his day, Parzinger was collected by the Rockefellers, the Duponts, and Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller.

German, 1903-1981